Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Looking Back on Sacred Land

Our guest blog is written by Tim Higgins and opens up the experiences of the Sacred Land weekend we shared in October.

Etched into the natural landscape of the Llyn Peninsula is a story of human awe and wonder. Bridging the distance between bird life and our own life is what happened as Mary Colwell told a story of faithful devotion between mating pairs of birds. She made us both chuckle and charmed as we pictured the impetuous flapping of a late arriving male-mate from a long migration. The distance between us, twenty-five very different week-enders, was also bridged as we were drawn in by stories rising from this landscape.
Mary’s expert passion for the story of the earth and its creatures moved us. So we walked and talked, we moved from ‘head to heart to hand’ reflecting on what we eat, how we shop, care and share with the natural world.
The gaze from the tip of the peninsula with an eye on the holy Isle of Bardsey took our imaginations flying. Martin Palmer got us airbourne with images of the cosmos and how our ancestors, like us, built legacies with wells and monuments. He helped de-code such legacies as that point to Sun and stars like signposts to our home on the Earth.
Looking down, as well as up, the landscape revealed its secrets. Much for the ‘head’ to think upon; more the ‘heart’ to reflect upon.
Stories we tell about our place in the landscape often come from the heart. These same stories guide our hand in holding things we value. Our time at the Pen Llyn’s Earth Centre, Felin Uchaf, came alive in the Roundhouse with storyteller Dafydd Davies-Hughes. Enchanted and transported we felt how inherited stories can shape our life together. 
Walking the shoreline, the ‘in-between place’ between soil and sea, is life giving for waders. It is also an effective space to contemplate our place on a planet of wonder and fragility.
For some, the three days seemed busy with getting to places and listening, but time to contemplate, ‘still-time’ for reflection, mattered as much. The National Trust Centre in Aberdaron supported generously in letting us ‘do our own thing’ – after hours. ‘The Deep’, part of their Porth y Swnt imaginative, interactive space stimulated our reflection and still-time.
Dawn inside the Penllech Farmyard church building, now out of regular use, went deep for many. The stars saw us at the start, and then the sound of birds and the sun rising to light the east window lifted our soul A lone voice spontaneously sang in greeting chant. Everyone lingered lest we should loose the moment.

“Friendships were formed. Emails have followed. Friendships with the natural world, the ‘sacred land’, have taken a further step for a unique group who gathered to ‘take the mind into the heart’ and did so with big smiles and renewed energy for life back home.” 

– Tim Higgins, Franciscan Tertiary and Anglican priest, led the weekend in collaboration with Edge of Wales Walk in Aberdaron. [ ]

No comments:

Post a Comment